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Pan-Asian Railway

Pan-Asian Railway Network is part of 80,900-km total in length Trans-Asian Railway Network, initiative of UNESCAP in 1992 when it launched the Asian Land Transport Infrastructure Development project. An agreement signed in 2006 by 17 Asian nations as part of UNESCAP effort to build a transcontinental railway network between Europe and Pacific ports in China. Pan-Asian Railway Network is also known as Kunming–Singapore Rail Link.

*  UNESCAP – United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
* Pan-Asian Railway Network also known as Kunming – Singapore Rail Link
** Trans-Asian Railway was initially proposed in the 1950s, with the objective of providing a continuous 14,080 km rail link between Singapore and Istanbul, Turkey, with possible further connections to Europe and Africa.
** A big challenge is the differences in rail gauge across Eurasia.  Five different major rail gauges exist across the continent: most of Europe, as well as Turkey, Iran, China, and the Koreas use the 1,435 mm gauge, known as Standard gauge; Russia, and the former Soviet republics use a 1,520 mm gauge; Finland uses a 1,524 mm gauge; the railways in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka use the 1,676 mm gauge, known as Indian gauge; and most of Southeast Asia has 1,000 mm meter gauge.

Kunming – Singapore Rail Link Project

Kunming Singapore Rail Link Project or simply Kunming – Singapore Railway also known as Pan-Asian Railway Network, consists of 3 routes, namely

  • Central Route:
    • Kunming – Yuxi – Mohan- Boten – Luang Prabang – Vientiane – Nong Khai – Khorat – Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur – Singapore
  • Western Route:
    • Kunming – Dali – Baoshan – Ruili – Yangon – Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur – Singapore
  • Eastern Route:
    • Kunming – Yuxi – Mengzi – Hekou – Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City – Phnom Penh – Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur – Singapore

The stretch between Kunming – Yuxi – Mohan- Boten – Luang Prabang – Vientiane, known as Central Route was officially opened on the 03-December-2021. This is another major milestone towards the building of Pan-Asian railway network.

Pan-Asian Railway Network is also one of the 6 Economic Corridors under Belt and Road Initiative – BRI, called China-Indochina Peninsula Corridor. Which was launched by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013 with the intent to enhance connectivity by means of transport infrastructure development.

Building Southeast Asia’s 4,400km Mega Railway

8-August-2021 Behind Asia

Proposed Pan-Asian Railway Network

Phase 2 of Lao-Thai railway completed

Phase II of the Lao-Thai Railway Construction Project (Section II) has been fully completed and is ready to be opened for use by the public.

An official in-charge of Phase II of the project told Vientiane Times that 100 per cent of the work has been completed. The railway link will be opened for public use following the finalisation of the Thailand-Laos train licence agreement.

“We expect to launch the train service between August and October,” he said.

Vientiane or Khamsavath station of Phase II of the Lao-Thai Railway Project is located at Khamsavath village in Xaysettha district, and the rail link is expected to improve regional logistics services.

The work began on October 1, 2019 and the project was originally scheduled for completion by December 2021. However, work on Khamsavath station was affected by delays.

Phase II of the project comprises a 7.5-km extension of the railway line from Thanalaeng station at the Thai border to Khamsavath station. Read more…

Thanaleng Dry Port

Positioned as REGIONAL-GLOBAL TRANSPORT HUB, Located near the first Laos-Thailand Friendship Bridge, is part of the Lao National Logistics Strategic projects, to link the Laos-China Railway and Laos-Thai Railway to the Thanaleng Dry Port to better facilitate freight transportation. Eventually will help transforming Laos from being landlocked to a land-linked country.

To facilitate freight between the Standard-gauge and the meter-gauge of the break of gauge, Thabok Thanaleng Co. Ltd has invested in a new rail line from the meter-gauge Laos-Thai Railway to Thanaleng Dry Port, while a new Standard-gauge line from Vientiane Southern Station to Thanaleng has been constructed by Laos-China Railway co. 

Together with Vientiane Logistics Park, the Thanaleng Dry Port is now connected to Europe destinations via China-Laos-Thailand Railway, which is also part of the Pan-Asian Railway Network.

Since in operation on 26-Jun-2022, goods transport by the railway from Vientiane or Southeast Asia to Europe take just over 10 days, compared to 45 days by vessel.

Bangkok-Nongkhai High-Speed Rail Link

This Bangkok – Nong-khai Highspeed Railway project is called Sino-Thai Railway Project in Thailand, also known as Northeastern High-Speed Rail Line, signed between China and Thailand in 2014 as part of the Kunming – Singapore Railway Link, also known as Pan-Asian Railway Link.

The line is Dual standard-gauge tracks designed at a speed of 250km/h would be from Bang Sue Grand station, laid through Kaeng Khoi Junction, Nakhon Ratchasima then Nong Khai, bordering the capital city of Laos – Vientiance. From Kaeng Khoi Junction, another route would link southward to Map Ta Phut industrial Port.

Bangkok to Nakhon Ratchasima section is 1 of the 2 phases of Bangkok Nong-khai Highspeed Rail Link, now under construction. Projected to be operational in 2026.
Whereas, the 2nd phase Nakhon Ratchasima – Nong-khai section has completed design, is projected to be ready by 2029. 

In conjunction with the Highspeed Rail Link construction, Thai Rail Transport Department has unveiled a plan to develop areas in Nong-Khai to prepare for a rail connection with Laos, to speed up more trades with China.

  • An 80-rai site at the Nong Khai railway station would be developed as a depot to handle international trade
  • A new bridge over Mekong River exclusively for trains, in parallel with the 1st Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge

It is also envisioned that the Highspeed Rail Line would

  • Move goods between Yunnan and Laem Chabang deep-sea port with better efficiency
  • Facilitate promotion of Tourism, Trade and Investment, especially in the Eastern Economic Corridor
  • Enable Thai products to reach southern China in less than two days, instead of two or three days on land
  • Create a greater opportunity for Thailand to send more products, particularly fresh fruits to China

Krung Thep Aphiwat Central Terminal Station

Formerly known as Bang Sue Grand Station is the Central Terminal Station in Chatuchak area in Bangkok (KrungThep). 4 Layers construction with total 26 platforms, Aphiwat Central Terminal’s main building has a gross floor area of 38,000 meter square, 274,192 meter square of the total development area is the largest transportation hub in Southeast Asia.

The terminal accommodates mixed of Standard-gauge and Meter-gauge tracks among the 26 platforms:

  • 10 tracks of Standard-gauge platform on the 3rd floor for high-speed trains to be used for:
    • North-eastern line – Korat / Nongkhai 250 km/h 2026 / 2028
    • Eastern line – Suvarnabuhmi / U-Tapao Airport / Chanthaburi / Trat (border of Cambodia) 2027 / 2037
    • Southern line – Hua Hin / Chumphon / Hat Yai / Padang Besar / Yala 2032 / 2037
    • Northern line – Don Mueang Airport / Ayuthaya / Phisanulok / Chiangmai 2032 / 2037
    • The 3 International Airports, namely 1) Suvarnabhumi Airport, 2) Dong Mueng Airport & 3) U-Tapao Airport Highspeed Linkage to be up and running in 2026, are also part of the The Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Development Plan under scheme of Thailand 4.0 at the eastern seaboard
  • 4 tracks of Standard-gauge platform on the Underground floor accommodates for Metropolitan
    MRT Blue-line Bang Sue station
  • The second floor will accommodate the conventional meter-gauge intercity lines including:
    • 4 tracks MRT Red-line Commuter Trains
    • 8 tracks will serve long-distance diesel trains (soon to be dual-track electrified) for:
      • North-eastern line to Korat, NongKhai, the gateway to Thanaleng, Vientiane
      • North-eastern line at Thanon Chira Juncttion branch to Ubon Ratchathani – the gateway to Pakse, Laos
      • Southern line to Chumphon, Hat Yai, Padang Besar and Sungai Kolok, the gateway to Malaysia and Singapore
      • Eastern line to Chachoengsao, Laem Chabang port in Chonburi & Map Ta Phut port in Rayong – the later is the most important freight transport line in Thailand.
      • Eastern line at Chachoengsao branch to Aranyaprathet – the gateway to Angkor Wat & Siem Reap in Cambodia

Thanaleng – Khamsavath Link

Khamsavath Railway Station

Vientiane South Railway Station

Thanaleng Dry Port

Thailand Railway Lines

Thailand Railway Lines

SRT Railway Network

Border Road Alignment with Thailand project to be sped up

Location of Sadao New CIQ Complex

Sadao New CIQ Location

Location Map, New Sadao CIQ Complex

Gemas-JB electrified double-tracks to complete by 2025

08-Sep-2023 By Sharen Kaur – NST

The Gemas-Johor Bahru electrified double-tracking rail project (Gemas-JB EDTP) is projected to be completed by 2025, according to Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook.

The Gemas-JB EDTP, billed as a catalyst for economic development in Johor’s core region, is currently 92 per cent complete.

“This whole project needs time to complete as it has been delayed many times, especially due to Covid-19, but now it’s on track.

“We hope this project can be completed as soon as possible so that it can connect Johor Bahru to Kuala Lumpur and all the way to Padang Besar,” Loke said.

He reportedly said this at an event commemorating the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on strategic cooperation for the development of the Kluang Heritage Railway Linear Park in Johor.

YTL Construction, in consortium with SIPP Rail Sdn Bhd is undertaking the construction of the RM9.5 billion Gemas-JB EDTP.

The train project was supposed to be completed by October 2022.

It includes 192 kilometres of track and 11 stops. It will travel through four major districts in Johor, including Segamat, Kluang, Kulai, and Johor Bahru, before concluding at JB Sentral.

Trains would be able to travel from KL Sentral in Brickfields to JB Sentral in three hours and 30 minutes at a speed of 140 miles per hour.

The Gemas-JB EDTP is the final part of the present Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) network to be expanded from a single track to a double track. Once completed, the link would run from Peninsula Malaysia’s southernmost tip all the way to Padang Besar on the Thai border.

It will also complement the current Electrified Train Service (ETS) that runs from Padang Besar to Gemas, boosting public transport even further.

Meanwhile, the MoU between the Railway Assets Corporation (RAC), the Kluang Municipal Council (MPK), SIPP-YTL JV, and Think City Sdn Bhd is to create the Kluang Heritage Railway Linear Park, which would include a recreational park built beneath the railway viaduct.

The park’s construction has been gazetted in the MPK Local Plan 2030, which aims to improve the environment of the surrounding area by developing a green network and supporting low-carbon development.

Oct-2023 |The Incredible KTM-EDTP Journey: Gemas to Johor Bahru – 93% Complete | Southern Corridor Malaysia

Johor Bahru–Singapore Rapid Transit System – RTS

It was proposed by Singapore in 2011, to Malaysia that a cross border rail link be connected to the northernmost station of the Thomson-East Coast line, Woodlands North. In 2015, Malaysia terminus was confirmed to be at Bukit Chagar.

  • The link will be a modern Light Rail Transit system that will provide high volume, fast and efficient transport system between the two stations, at a distance of 4km across Johor Strait
  • With integrated and co-located immigration, custom & quarantine facilities at both stations, passengers clear departure and arrival procedures at their point of departure only once
  • The link will be integrated with public transport systems at both sides, providing an alternative means of transportation that will help alleviate the congested checkpoints for both countries
  • The designed capacity of 10,000 passengers per hour, per direction. But expected ridership of about 40,000 passengers per day during initial operating period
  • Bukit Chagar station will be connecting to KTM / ETS intercity trains in JB Sentral
  • Woodlands North station will be connecting to Thomson–East Coast Line
  • The Construction started in November 2020 at Malaysian site, in January 2021 on the Singaporean section started
  • Scheduled to be operational by 2026, upon RTS opening, the existing shuttle train service would be discontinued

MOT, Johor agree to prioritise JB-Singapore RTS link, Gemas-JB double-tracking

28-Mar-2023 | Malaymail

The Ministry of Transport (MOT) and the Johor state government have reached an agreement that two projects should continue to be given priority, namely the Johor Bahru-Singapore Link Rapid Transit System (RTS) and the Gemas-Johor Bahru Electrified Double Tracking project (PLBEGJB).

Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Onn Hafiz Ghazi said progress on RTS has now reached 32.78 per cent and is expected to be completed by the end of 2026, while PLBEGJB has reached 90.6 per cent and is expected to be completed in April 2026.

“(In addition), another important project for the connectivity of the state of Johor, which is the Iskandar Rapid Transit (IRT) has achieved progress of 24.14 per cent, and is expected to be completed by the end of 2025,” he said in a post on his official Facebook today.

The RTS line is a four-kilometre long cross-border railway project connecting the terminal in Singapore at Woodlands North station to the Malaysian terminal at Bukit Chagar here, while PLBEGJB consists of 11 stations and is considered a landmark for small towns in the state of Johor.

Onn Hafiz said the state government also greatly appreciates federal efforts, especially MOT for providing the Johor Bahru MyBAS service, to enable commuters to use 19 routes covering a distance of 1,070 km in the state for only RM50 (fare) unlimited for 30 days.

Meanwhile, Onn Hafiz said the state government has approved an allocation of RM200,000 for the infrastructure repair of Dato’ Haji Abd Ghani Mosque in Tangkak. — Bernama

RTS project official Video

Malaysia Railway Lines

Gemas – JB Electrified Double-tracking project
Graphic: ISEAS-Yusof Ishak Institute/The Star

Opening of Cambodia Railroad Puts Pan-Asian Railway On Track

KUALA LUMPUR, 22 OCTOBER, 2010: The first segment of a new international standard railroad, co-financed by international donors including Malaysia, officially opened in Cambodia today, a major step towards the creation of a long-awaited Pan-Asian railroad.

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is providing US$84 million in support of the reconstruction and repair of 650 kilometers (404 miles) of rail stretching from Cambodia’s border with Thailand, through the capital city of Phnom Penh, and southward to Sihanoukville, the country’s main seaport.

Australia provided the additional US$21.5 million while Malaysia contributed 106 km (66 miles) of track worth US$2.8 million in support of the US$141 million project.

ADB said in a statement today that Cambodia allocated US$20.3 million for the rail project while the other co-financiers include the OPEC Fund for International Development with US$13 million.

Freight service has commenced along a 120km (75 mile) stretch of rail between Phnom Penh and Touk Meas, near the Vietnamese border. The entire rail line is scheduled to be operational by 2013.

“We are on the cusp of a contiguous Iron Silk Road stretching from Singapore to Scotland,” said Kunio Senga, director-general of ADB’s Southeast Asia Department.

“This possibility has been talked about for decades, but today the dream has finally taken a big step towards becoming a reality.”

Decades of conflict have left Cambodia’s railroad in serious disrepair, with rail traffic slowly declining to a trickle.

In some parts of the country, homemade lorries – simple, makeshift bamboo platforms powered by water-pump motors – are the main form of rail transport along the antiquated tracks.

Cambodia’s less developed transportation network and the country’s higher transportation costs result in higher prices for imported and locally-made goods compared to neighboring countries.

ADB said the new railway would help lower the cost of staple commodities that poor Cambodian families relied on for sustenance.

“This new railroad represents another important step for Cambodia in overcoming its legacy of conflict,” said Senga. “With better infrastructure and closer economic ties with its neighbors, Cambodians are enjoying a peace dividend more than ever before.”

Once Cambodia’s new railroad is ready, only one link, between Phnom Penh and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, will remain before a Pan-Asian railway is complete.

Cambodia and Vietnam have already signed an agreement to link their railways, and China is supporting a design study on a rail link from Phnom Penh to Loc Ninh, Vietnam.

The railway rehabilitation project is a vital component of the Greater Mekong Subregion’s southern economic corridor – linking Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam – and is a key component of Asean’s Singapore-Kunming Rail Link Project.

Toll Holdings, an Australian company, has been awarded a 30-year contract to operate and maintain the rehabilitated railway system.

– Bernama – 22 October 2010

Royal Railway | Train to Phnom Penh @ Battambang

21-April-2021 Adam BIT

Trans-Asian Railway Network